Paying for school

Getting an education can take its toll on your wallet. Fortunately, there are options available to you. This page will help you learn about the various options available to help you manage your finances and pay for your education.

Cost of post-secondary education

Today, a student attending CEGEP, trade school, college or university full-time can expect to pay between $2,500 and $8,000 per year or more in tuition alone—and books, supplies, student fees, transportation, housing and other expenses will add to that total.

If you’re looking for information about tuition price differences and expected overall costs, consider this cost breakdown.

Saving for school

Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a special savings account registered by the Government of Canada that is used to save money for education after high school.

You, your parents, family members or family friends can put aside money for your post-secondary education in an RESP. It’s a great place for you to deposit portions of your allowance or money you make from your summer job!

Your contributions can grow surprisingly quickly and tax-free when you use an RESP. You may also qualify for additional money through the Canada Education Savings Grant and the Canada Learning Bond.

Scholarships, grants and bursaries

Scholarships, grants and bursaries are types of financial assistance that you don’t have to pay back. Scholarships are typically based on merit, while grants and bursaries usually take financial need into consideration as well. Some scholarships, grants and bursaries are also based on academic achievement, athletic skill, extra-curricular involvement, or special abilities.

The federal, provincial and territorial governments, individual schools, and some businesses and charitable foundations also give out scholarships, grants and bursaries. Check with your school to find out what you could be eligible for.

Links to check out:

  • Scholarships Canada is an extensive, searchable database of scholarships, student awards, bursaries and grants. You’ll also find information about student loans, applications and budget planning.
  • Student Awards is a searchable database of scholarships, bursaries, fellowships, grants and other financial awards available to Canadian students.
  • CanLearn.ca offers valuable information about savings plans, student loans, grants and scholarships.
  • Education and Training offers extensive information on bursaries, grants, scholarships and employment opportunities available to students.
  • Scholarships.gc.ca has information on scholarships available to Canadians and non-Canadians studying in Canada and abroad.

Student loans and lines of credit

Government student loans are a form of financial assistance provided by the government that you’ll eventually need to pay back. Student lines of credit are also a financial loan that you must also pay back. These lines of credit are provided by various banks.

The Canada Student Loans Program offers loans and grants in partnership with provinces and territories to Canadians attending a university, college, trade school or vocational school. If you’re looking for some help financing your education, visit CanLearn.ca for more information on getting a student loan.

Working while learning

Internshipsco-operative education and apprenticeships can be great options to gain valuable work experience while studying. Sometimes you can even get paid for this work experience! The Government of Canada also offers a number of grants and initiatives to help post-secondary students gain work experience while financially supporting themselves during their studies.

Other helpful pages